The launch of online travel site Orbitz benefited from plenty of pre-launch buzz, including a false advertising and unfair competition lawsuit from Southwest Airlines, but data from Nielsen//NetRatings says it led to the biggest e-commerce launch since 1999.
During the month of June, Orbitz attracted 2.07 million unique at-home visitors, Nielsen//NetRatings found. When adding at-work visitors, the number climbs to 3.7 million unique visitors. Orbitz itself reports it has surpassed the 1 million registered user mark, and that travel sales have topped $100 million since the launch.
The 2.07 million at-home visitors in June represented an increase of 1.9 million visitors over May, the final month of its beta test period. By comparison, the re-launch of Walmart.com in October 2000 generated an increase of 1 million household visitors over its pre-launch month. K-Mart’s launch of BlueLght.com increased by 862,000 visitors in December 1999; Target.com added 392,000 additional visitors in August 1999; and Hotwire saw an additional 123,000 visitors during its November launch.
“Orbitz’ succeeded in bringing very high levels of traffic in June — the month the company officially launched. Traffic to the site has grown faster than any major e-commerce launch we’ve seen during the past two years,” said Lisa Strand, director and chief analyst, e-commerce at NetRatings.
Also helping the Orbitz launch was its debut during the summer travel season and an hourly sweepstakes promotion that gives away a pair of air travel tickets, scheduled to run from June 4 to July 15.
|Top E-Commerce Site Launches Since 1999|
|Site||Launch Date||Unique Audience Growth
During Launch Month
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